Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

This weekend we took a day trip out to a dinosaur quarry. We miss Chris on our weekday excursions so it was fun to explore somewhere new, all four of us.


The quarry is fantastic. It’s a working quarry where they are actively digging up bones and the building you can visit has all the tools (paintbrushes, rags, a sieve, glue, various cups and cans) and tags they use while they are working. It’s really neat to see all the things they use, not just the finished product. They also have a museum with lots of information and neat illustrations and bones on display, but we were much more excited about the quarry.

This quarry has one of the densest areas of dinosaur bones anywhere and it’s a mystery why they are all there. There are many theories, but it’s still a source of questions. I read that the layer where the bones are is only about three feet deep and yet, the densest collection… amazing!

Here Lilah is pointing to a bone she spotted embedded in a rock on one of the trails in the quarry.


After visiting the dinosaur bone dig, we climbed on some rocks and then drove a bit and found a nice spot to have dinner and several games of hide and seek before heading home.

The moon was coming up as we ate and packed up. It was a beautiful day together.



Crystal Hot Springs & the Spiral Jetty

We made another visit to The Spiral Jetty, made by Robert Smithson out at the Great Salt Lake.


We saw some salt crystals on the sand near the Jetty.


The kids alternated between following the spiral path and detours to check out puddles, crystals, rocks, etc. We decided next time we go we’ll walk way out past the Jetty to where the lake’s edge is now.


Gavin and I walked out to the remains of a pier nearby. The lake has gotten smaller due to drought.


We spotted a hawk eating something on a post near the road so we stopped for a few minutes and watched.


On our drive we listened to many chapters of Mossflower by Brian Jacques.

Afterward we met other unschoolers at Crystal Hot Springs, a collection of pools fed by mineral springs.

The pools were differing temperatures and had fun features like waterfalls and shade umbrellas. The kids preferred the cool pool and I preferred the warm, but not hot ones. Gavin read about all the different minerals in the water. We’ll definitely go again, maybe in the winter when steam would be an added feature.

It was another full, fun day of exploring and enjoying and discovering.


a few October days

We enjoyed an Autumn Celebration with our local unschoolers group.


We raked leaves and did a scavenger hunt and made mobiles and played with salt dough and punched out leaf confetti and made magnets and climbed trees and rolled down the hill.

I made a leaf necklace while Gavin watched.


We played with friends at our house.

Gavin began plans for and making of a book. It’s an adventure story. I hope I will get to see more!


We roasted and pureed a pumpkin from our garden and a banana squash that was gifted to us.

The kids played war with Hello Kitty cards.

There was lots of Lego building and storytelling and kitten caring and cuddling.

We visited the museum and gardens for some active fun. The kids picked up a map and navigated to the parts of the garden they wanted to visit.

On our way to and from home we’ve been listening to Mossflower by Brian Jacques, much requested by the kids as another in the Redwall stories after finishing Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.



We have been




playing with and caring for a new kitten! A kitten has been Lilah’s fondest wish for years and so after much deliberation we decided she’s at a great age to become a pet care taker and to form a really wonderful friendship with a cat. We told her at her birthday party that she could adopt a kitten. She chose Luna Lovegood, and has been playing with her, feeding her, taking care of her litter box and making beds for her in the doll house. It’s been so much fun to watch them together and to have a kitten in the house. Luna seems to love her new home and we love having her here.

We have been celebrating Lilah’s birthday!

And celebrating more with a tea party in the park with friends.

We have been reading,


rafting on a lake which was fun until it was scary and then new plans to try a different way were made,

Gavin’s been trying some photography,

and so have I. Here are a few shots I took with the fall leaves in a pool, and reflections of the trees and myself that I enjoyed.

We have been swimming,

noticing the return of some autumn birds and filling up our bird feeder with seeds,

planning costumes,

building (here is a door with hinges built by Gavin)


playing soccer,

playing Minetest and Minecraft (Gavin did lots of chores to afford his own account to play Minecraft)

watching short animation videos. We recommend this: Fresh Guacamole by PES.

We have been visiting Logan, Utah to see an Australian Aboriginal paintings exhibit at Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art,

watching part of the Democratic Debate and Gavin asking questions about politics, following up with research about the 2 major parties in the U.S. and an article on Time For Kids summing up the Democratic Debate.

picking tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños and Thai chiles in the garden for chili making (with gloves for protection from chile oil for Gavin).

We have been gathering with other unschoolers for an afternoon of spooky (and less spooky) science in the park.

They made glittery slime, stewed a brew in a cauldron, mixed colors, watched some dry ice bubble fun, watched various kinds of mentos and coke experiments and Gavin set off a really wonderful water and air rocket.

Every day is a good one, even the ones with hard parts. I’m glad to be able to watch my kids maneuver through their days and help if they want it and sit back and enjoy when they don’t (and share my own discoveries and interests when they are open to that, of course.)

art, unschooling

Lucin & the Sun Tunnels

A few weeks ago we were in need of some bigger adventures. So we headed out west, into Nevada and the desert to visit a ghost town and a massive land art piece on the state border.

It was a rainy morning and the dirt roads were quite an adventure, even though they were drying when we arrived at our turn off the highway.


Well, we thought it was our turn off.  In discovering it wasn’t the road we were looking for we also discovered an old mining building to explore.  We spotted several lizards, big and small and had fun checking out the ruins.

Then we got back on the road and headed toward Lucin, a tiny ghost town. We explored a bit and saw the pond, a few houses, a concrete structure others say was a phone booth, a big hunk of rock that was mined out there called variscite and lots of paraphernalia. We all decided we’d like to do more ghost town exploring.

Further along we came upon a few sculptures that people visiting the Sun Tunnels have made or brought. One was made of Legos partially and the other was a structure that could be used as a shelter. It was a long walk from the road, past many lizards and several prickly pear plants.


After our fill of those, we ended up at the Sun Tunnels, a massive land artform created between 1973-76 by Nancy Holt.


Those tunnels are huge! They have holes in the tops to represent constellations and are aligned so that the rising sun can be viewed in the center of the tunnels during summer and winter solstices. It’s a fascinating experience to be both out in the middle of the desert and presented with a human-made structure. The light play inside and on the tunnels is beautiful.

The kids liked exploring from inside and outside. So did I!

Those lizards have it pretty good out there.


Fall in Utah

We’ve been holing up at home quite a bit playing with Legos, Minetest, skateboarding in the living room and the like.

There was a nice hike up City Creek Canyon to gather stinging nettles leaves in order to brew some nettle tea. IMG_6180

We found a birds nest and lots of berries.

When we got home we looked up the berries and discovered they are blue elderberries, good for jams and syrups.  Hmmm, we’ll have to go back soon I think! The area was just full of large beautiful clusters of frosty looking blue berries.

The kids brought their gloves and bags for collecting nettle leaves.

It was cool up there with lots of fall colors and smells.

When we got home we brewed some nettle tea and tried it. It was pretty good.


We’ve been enjoying lots of music listening and dancing.

We went to the library. I chose some more audiobooks for us: Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O’Dell, Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. The kids each chose three or four books and then I picked out a handful more.  One of the favorites of the bunch so far is Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj, a charming story where the cats are about to tell their story but suspect a non-cat is reading the book.

We took several other hikes in the fall leaves, including visiting some local hot springs with my sister that we’ve never been to before: Fifth Water or Diamond Fork hot springs.

It’s a little over two miles to the springs on a beautiful path with red rock, a stream and this month, beautiful fall leaves.

The hot springs were quite toasty! The kids took a while to acclimate but did enjoy it quite a bit. I sat near a warm waterfall and it felt a bit like a hot tub with jets on.

There are so, so many things to explore and discover, so much to miss out on if we don’t seize the opportunity to explore the world we’re part of!